Maine Hockey Journal

It’s all about the power play

Portland, ME – The power play has become such a thorn in the side of the Pirates lately, that when they go on the power play, it’s almost an advantage for the opposing team.

The Pirates power play has been atrocious for the last month and a half of the season and it doesn’t look like it will improve anytime soon. Not until the players feel enough is enough. It’s not a question of their work ethic because this is a hard working team. The players will say they’ve been outworked, but on most nights, you see a full effort is being given.

That said, improvement certainly can made and it has to start with getting traffic in front of the net. How many times have we heard “If the goalie can see, he’ll stop it”?

What the Pirates need now more than anything is a solid puck moving defenseman, who can quarterback the power play and allow the Pirates skilled forwards do what they do best and that’s cycling the puck down low.

Chris Butler was that player, but with his return to Portland in doubt, the Pirates – or better said, the Sabres – will have to look elsewhere on the market.

At the beginning of the season, the power play was the Pirates bread and butter, but as of late, it’s been just an anchor weighing down the team. The Pirates are 33/214 (15.4%) with the man advantage, but more shocking is the fact that Portland is just 11/117 (9.4%) on Civic Center ice.

During this morning’s practice, Dineen spent a large portion of the time working on several issue with the power play.

“Power play is a big issue right now,” said Dineen. “It’s been a difference maker in game, but unfortunately, it’s not a difference maker for us in the right context. It’s something that we can’t avoid… we really need to focus on and put the best people out there where they feel comfortable.”


The Pirates will be without the services of Mike Weber for the foreseeable future. Weber injured his knee last Wednesday when he took a shot off his knee in game against Lowell. He underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday and Dineen said his hope is to have Weber back maybe within three weeks.

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